28 Jun 2002

US looks for nurses in the Pacific

11:23 am on 28 June 2002

United States recruiting agencies are looking at American Samoa and other Pacific territories to recruit qualified nurses, offering higher salaries and incentives due to a nursing shortage across the US.

Three US recruiting agencies have launched advertising campaigns to attract qualified Licensed Practical Nurses or LPNs and Registered Nurses or RNs.

One agency is offering qualified RNs an annual salary of 40-thousand US dollars while LPNs earn 34-thousand dollars plus incentives, double the average annual salary at the American Samoa-government owned LBJ Hospital.

The director of nursing at LBJ Hospital, Etenaunga Lutu, says there have been many US nursing recruiting agencies who have contacted the hospital, at a time when the hospital is also facing shortages.

A shortage of nurses in American Samoa last year prompted the recall of retired nurses.